Rolling Stone Top 100 Project Pt. 1

While I was listening to the radio, one of the morning DJs posed a question about the hosts’ pick for favorite Rolling Stones song. I thought about it and I thought it would be neat to name my number one song for various bands and musical acts. I was originally only going to do Rock but I stumbled on the top 100 Musical Artists list from Rolling Stone magazine so I decided to use that. There are technically two lists so I may jump between them a bit but the first 26 did not change between 2005 and 2011.

  1. The Beatles – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

Yes, the Beatles had dozens of really good songs that I could have put here. However, when I was a preteen, I fell in love with Abbey Road and played it often as I walked home from school. While other songs may have more technical skill or more meaning, this is just the lads from Liverpool having a good time. The song also has a dark edge behind its jolly sound which definitely falls within the scope of my interests. There are a lot of clever rhymes that just sound really pleasing to my ear as well.

  1. Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues

A lot of Bob Dylan’s most popular songs are too slow and rambling for me. In contrast, this song has a frenetic energy as he rushes toward the finish line. The lyrics are interesting in that they can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. Dylan claimed that he was inspired by beat poets like Kerouac and Ginsberg. He was also inspired by the Woody Guthrie – Pete Seeger song “Taking It Easy” and Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”. Thankfully, the music video has some of the lyrics on cue cards because Dylan never was big on diction. Still, he inspired a lot of musicians.

  1. Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock

Elvis had a ton of hits as well. I did not really care for his crooning ballads (although they melted many hearts back in the day) but when Elvis was rocking and rolling, I loved his music. I actually performed Elvis songs on stage once for a Church talent show (along with much more talented and not-having-a-panic-attack partners). I think that was when I started to appreciate Elvis more as a musician than the cartoon he was usually portrayed as. Jailhouse Rock just always felt like his hardest-hitting song. I also loved the lyrics as I could imagine the party he is describing.

  1. Rolling Stones – Paint it Black

Something about the haunting, calmer singing with a rocking instrumental really gets to me. Also, as a preteen and teen, I was a bit goth and was the kind of person that would always answer “black” when asked for my favorite color. What really cemented this song as my favorite is the video game Twisted Metal Black which used it as a theme song. When I was in the depths of my worst period of depression, songs like these felt good because I felt less alone.

  1. Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go

I was so tempted to put “My Ding a ling” here but I feel like this is my actual answer. The guitar is what really gets me in this one (although most of his songs had great guitar). I like the progression of the song where the music starts jubilant and excited but ends kind of angry. This befits the funny story that the lyrics tell of a bad date night. It was this song that I thought of when I first heard The Guess Who’s “Clap for the Wolfman”. Berry knew how to paint a picture and this song just feels so good.

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